According to the National Retail Federation, 122 million Americans are expected to shop online this Cyber Monday. That's a million more than last year. But how do you protect yourself online? KDLT's Jill Johnson sat down with a local expert at Dakota State University who has some tips.
Each year, more and more Americans do their holiday shopping online rather than at retail stores. But it also means more and more people are vulnerable to hackers.
DSU Assistant Security Programs Professor Kyle Cronin said, "It's easy to lure someone into shopping on a website that maybe isn't legitimate."
Cronin says hackers will often make fake websites that look like the real thing; advertising prices that are really low.
"It might be just too good to be true," said Cronin.
He says you can avoid that by looking for a padlock right next to the browser.
Cronin said, "It should validate that the website you're going to is really in fact Amazon.com."
And in some cases the bar or the site's name will even turn green.
"Basically that means that PayPal paid for a little extra verification."
When shopping or banking online, Cronin says it's important not to use public WiFi.
"It's really easy to just see everything that's going on and scrape it all out of your wireless traffic," Cronin said. "It comes back to the basics of make sure you have Anti-Virus on your computer, make sure you have good passwords, and do your best to not use your same passwords everywhere."
Cronin also suggests using a credit card to pay for your items.
Cronin said, "A credit card, you're not spending your money, in a sense you're spending someone else's. Credit cards usually come with really fraud protection with them."
If you do get hacked using a debit card or bank routing number, he says it could take awhile before you get your money back.